There are many different types of animals and critters that reside in Upham’s backyard, the Wisconsin River. One of the coolest and my personal favorite is the otter. There are thirteen known species of otter but the Northern River Otter is what we find around Wisconsin. Otters spend their life on both land and in the water, Northern River Otters specifically spend less time on land than most other otter species. Otters are a very intelligent species; they have been seen using and creating tools and Northern River Otters specifically dig tunnels underwater that lead to their dens-otterly impressive!
Not many people realize how big otters actually are since they are related to ferrets and mink that are smaller animals. River otters can get up to four feet long and weigh up to eighty four pounds!! Otters are the only known marine animal that does not have blubber, their thick waterproof fur keeps them warm. Their fur is very soft and thick which is why their pelts have been harvested to the point of endangerment.
Otters beautiful fur and over hunting was not the only thing that put them on the endangered species list. Otters are unable to live in polluted and unhealthy waters, the changing in our world’s temperature and increase in pollution has either killed or forced otters to move elsewhere to live in healthier water.
To protect these amazing, smart, and entertaining animals we always have to have conservation on our mind. Reduce pollution in our everyday lives, keep precious water and land areas protected, and do not purchase anything made with or from otter byproducts.
And hey, keep an eye out on the river for these tricksters!